Mother’s Night: Listen!

Dec 20th, 2017 | By | Category: Articles, Uncategorized

By Dorothy L. Abrams

It’s time to celebrate WOMEN! That’s only fair since so much of the holiday preparations fall on our shoulders. Deck the halls. Buy Gifts. Wrap. Buy food. Cook. Bake cookies, bread and pies. Send cards. Address envelops. Invite guests. Set up for sleep overs. Schedule spiritual services and rituals. Sing, laugh, make merry. And when it is all done, clean up the mess and put it all away. Men, are you jumping in to help? I hope so. The yearend holidays are a wonderful exhausting festive time. Shared, they take on a romantic glow and weave family together.

Mother's Night Dorothy AbramsSo in the midst of all this madness Let us observe Mōdraniht (Old English “Night of the Mothers” or “Mothers’ Night”). Mother’s Night falls on Winter Solstice Eve, this year December 20th. Solstice is the next morning half hour before noon of the 21st. If you missed it this year, try it out on December 24th. I’ll give you a link why that is a great plan B.  Mother’s Night is an ancient holiday of the Germanic and Scandinavian people, a time of feasting and honor to the women in the family, in the lineage and among the Gods. The record of commonly held rites is scant, so once again we are left to create rituals that suit us in the 21st century. Let’s begin with the facts. Someone else cooks the feast. The women are the guests of honor. Someone else lays the table. Someone else washes the dishes. And everyone shows up. Phones are put away. The TV is off. Some seasonal pagan music might be nice.

If the men can’t cook up the meal themselves, they can carry something in from a favorite restaurant or the family can go out as a group. Togetherness is what makes the festival. No fair asking mom or mom-in-law to cook. They are part of the honored women too. Then when all are sated, settled with a glass of egg nog spiked or not, let every man and child tell the women what they appreciate about them. And then ask them what they want for the new year. Or if that is too large a quest, what do they wish for Yule?

Then, gentlemen and children, listen. Among all the gifts any woman wants is to be heard. That is a well-kept secret. Women crave their words to fall on fertile ground and grow the first time, sans nagging, sans repetition, sans reminders. They need no mansplaining to reduce their words into mush. They need no argument of being too sensitive or failing to see the children’s point of view. There are no buts or defensive arguments. On this wondrous Mother’s Night, listen. Hear her say she wants her wards to love each other (and by extension her) then promise truly to get along. She wants her partner to court her even though they have been together years. Use your magic cell phone to remember Valentine’s Day and her birthday ahead of time. Say “I love you” right out loud. Start now, on Mother’s Night and keep going all year long. Fix things that are broken. Pay attention when your stuff is all over the floor. Carry the dishes to the sink. Think of these things as offerings to the Divine Feminine because they are. The Disir watch and remember.

And who are the Disir? (pronounced DEE-seer) Their identity isn’t clear cut. Scholars connect them to the Germanic Matres. They are also named as Valkyries and Norns. They are female protective spirits, Goddesses, associates of Odin, fertility deities, and warriors. They appear as triple Goddesses with some consistency. I first noticed them in the Roman Baths in Bath UK where they are identified as genii cucullati. I took to them right away because they coincided with a vision a friend in my circle at the Web Path Center had of a past life in Cumberland UK. He was taught by them hundreds of years ago. There is another etched triple Goddess image in Bath the Bad Witch, a Moon Books blogger , wrote about in 2014 http://www.badwitch.co.uk/2014/12/pagan-eye-three-celtic-goddesses.html . Their images are common. Female land spirits in Iceland and Norway place names are Landdisir. The names for these beings are often used interchangeably in old texts so we can hardly be accused of conflating Goddess identities as we do the same. Triple Goddesses, Genii, Matres, Elves, Land Spirits, Norns.

In your celebration, include a ritual. While the family is together make resolutions to hear the family Mothers, think about grounding and seeking advice from the Disir. Set your usual meditative space. Join hands or not. Be still and chant “One thing becomes another, in the Mother, in the Mother.” I emphasize a different word in the phrase with each repetition. First ONE, then THING, the BECOMES, and so on. It takes me to her very quickly. When in Her presence, ask what gift she wishes from you. Listen carefully. Remember how literal the spirits are, how quixotic their humor. Ask questions. Request they be more practical if they push your limits. They want a dialog and do that on purpose too. Be loving. Step out of faith. Try new stuff, but don’t risk more than you can. I’m bold. I bargain with the Gods, with caution.

When you return from your meditation, take notes. You are supposed to remember this communication. Share Her words around the family circle. Help each other with the requests. When the Moon Goddess asked for a book to be written on sex magic, my whole Web Circle jumped in to help. A family quest or creation may be helpful on many levels in addition to serving the Lady.

Finally, to thank the Disir on Mōdraniht leave them a plate from your feast. Pour a libation of wine or cider on the ground. Herbs and sage from the ritual smudge bowl are sprinkled over the bushes or tree roots. Stick incense is left to burn in the ground assuming the ground is not frozen or the snow will support it. A candle left burning safely away from dry ground cover and buildings is appreciated. Whisper your intent,”For you ladies. For you my fey.”  Remember. These are deities and nature spirits. Their ways are different from ours. Too much familiarity invites mischief. Like the women in your lives, they wish to be heard and heeded.

Family Strength

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